Overview of Global Wind Energy Installation in 2021 with Market Outlook up to 2026

Overview of Global Wind Energy Installation in 2021 with Market Outlook up to 2026


2021 was a brilliant year for renewable energy installation despite the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In that year, the global renewable energy addition experienced a 9.1% increase compared to 2020. The biggest slice was grabbed by solar energy with 133 GW [1], followed by around 93.6 GW of wind energy [2] and 19 GW of hydropower. The cumulative renewable energy capacity reached 3TW in the globe according to the recent report which was released by IRENA [3]. It is worth mentioning that the majority of global cumulative renewable energy capacity has come from hydropower with 1360 GW and it is followed by solar power with 849 GW and wind power with 837 GW. It is expected that solar power will surpass hydropower in the forthcoming years.

The wind industry has enjoyed its second-best year ever, with growth in 2021 only 1.8% behind its 2020’s record [3]. This article aims to outline a brief and clear picture of the wind energy market out of raw data from different sources and shed light on the next five years of it.

Global Wind Energy Installation from 2017 to 2021

Global Wind Energy Installation

The share of onshore wind installation was 72.5 GW and the rest of it has belonged to offshore wind. Although the onshore wind has the leading role in wind energy market, offshore wind has had a skyrocketing increase compared to its land-based rival. In 2021, offshore wind witnessed more than 3 times increase, from 6.9 GW in 2020 to 21.1 GW in 2021. A slowdown in China and the U.S, the world’s two largest wind markets has led to lower enhancement in the onshore wind market worldwide [2]. 

All of the new installations in the offshore wind market in 2021 has brought the world’s total offshore capacity to 57GW, which is 7% of global wind installations. China contributed 80% of that offshore growth, the fourth year that China has led the way in new installations.

Onshore Wind Installation

Auction is a public sale in which goods or properties are sold to the highest bidder. Auction activities in 2021 have shown the global desire to continue wind power growth. Auctioned capacity in the wind energy market was 88 GW globally in 2020. Onshore wind makes up 69 GW (78%) of that. By assessing the top three regions out of 5 regions including Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, it can be seen that the onshore wind energy market is the mainstream and dominant in these regions.

For the next five years under current policies, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Market

Intelligence is estimated that 557 GW of new capacity will be added in the next five years – that equates to more than 110 GW of new installations each year until 2026 [2].

Offshore Wind Installation

The offshore auctioned capacity in 2021 accounted for 19 GW out of 88 GW. The annual global offshore market is expected to grow from 21.1 GW in 2021 to 31.4 GW in 2026 under current policies, bringing its share of global new installations from today’s 22.5% to 24.4% by 2026  [2]. In total, more than 90 GW of offshore wind capacity is expected to be added worldwide from 2022 to 2026. 

The top 5 countries in the offshore wind markets are China, the UK, Vietnam, Denmark, and, the Netherlands. It is important to note that Vietnam as a new emerging offshore wind market has commissioned 779 MW nearshore wind capacity which made it the third-largest wind energy market for offshore installations in 2021 [2].

The Perspective of the Wind energy until 2026

The world’s top five wind power markets in 2021 based on adding capacity were China, the U.S, Brazil, Vietnam, and the UK [2]. These five wind energy markets generally made up 75.1% of

Global wind installations last year, collectively 5.5% lower than in 2020, primarily due to China and the U.S losing a combined 10% market share compared to 2020.

At current rates of installation, GWEC Market Intelligence has forecasted that by 2030 we will have less than two-thirds of the wind energy capacity required for a 1.5°C and net-zero pathway, effectively condemning us to miss our climate goals [2].

Did you know?

Solar Edition publishes the top 10 solar panels monthly since 2019. In addition to this, we also publish a top 10 72 cells solar panels for industrial-scale every quarterly (Q1,2,3,4).

Author: Hesam-Edin Hayati Soloot & Amir Hayati Soloot


[1] IRENA, “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022”, April 2022.

[2] Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), “Global Wind Report 2022”.

[3] TaiyangNews, “Global RE Generation Capacity Exceeded 3 TW In 2021 With Solar Accounting For 849 GW